Convicted Somerville Murder's Bail Stands

A federal judge says he can't reduce the $1million dollar bail of a former death-row inmate waiting for a new trial. But that didn't stop the judge from criticizing the amount as excessive and oppressive.

Anthony Graves' 1994 capital murder conviction was thrown out by an appeals court last year when it found that prosecutors withheld evidence and elicited false testimony. Authorities decided to retry Graves.

Graves was convicted for the deaths of Bobbie Joyce Davis, 45; her 16-year-old daughter, Nicole; and four grandchildren ages 4 to 9. All from Somverville. The victims were shot, stabbed and beaten in 1992, and their home was set on fire to conceal the crime.

The $1 million dollar bail was set last month by Burleson County District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett. The judge set the bail without holding a hearing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeschner said Friday that although the bail might be excessive and there probably should have been a hearing, Towslee-Corbett had broken no law.

Froeschner's decision not to interfere means Graves will be returned to the Burleson County Jail in Caldwell to await his retrial.

Jeff Blackburn of Amarillo is one of three attorneys working for Graves for free because they say they believe he is innocent. He said the amount was ridiculous and designed merely to keep Graves behind bars.

Froeschner said Graves would have to appeal the bail through the state court system. Blackburn said that process had already begun.